If You Can Truthfully Say ‘Yes’ to Any of These 5 Questions, Your Emotional Intelligence Is Lower Than You Think – inc.com post

Even if the answers are yes, emotional intelligence is something anyone can develop.

By: Marcel Schwantes Founder and Chief Human Officer, Leadership From the Core


EQ is a set of skills that can be learned, if you want to learn them, that is. This post has 5 questions that you can ask yourself to see where you are on the scale. This will take deep introspection on your part to answer, though.

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I’ve written numerous times about the impact of emotional intelligence, and how people exhibiting high emotional intelligence (EQ) have been found to have more success in life.

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Research has determined that EQ determines an employee’s overall success when it comes to work, relationships, and general well-being. In the age of artificial intelligence and automation, emotional intelligence may be not only what saves us from the robots, it may also be what saves us from ourselves. Consider these findings:

Let’s flip the coin. What about low emotional intelligence, or even no emotional intelligence at all? What does that look like in practice, and how can we identify those habits that are holding us back?  

5 questions to assess low emotional intelligence

For the record, if you recognize some of your own habits as you read over the signs, cut yourself some slack and know that you’re not broken or bad. What it does mean is, you suffer from blind spots. You may not see them but those around you–peers, co-workers, customers, family members–can firmly nod in agreement that they do, sometimes routinely.

Rest assured that anyone is capable of changing these scenarios to improve their lives or leadership skills. But there’s got to be a first step: identifying whether your EQ is low or not. Here’s how you will know.

1. Are you quick to judge?

People with low EQ often jump to conclusions quickly because they don’t have a good understanding of how to read other people’s emotions or their own. Since those who judge are typically negative and impulsive, they may form a negative impression of someone before assessing the context of a situation and their initial emotions for truth and accuracy. Sadly, what they may be left with is a distorted view of something or someone.

2. Do you have a hard time accepting criticism?

Taking criticism can wreak havoc emotionally on a person who lacks EQ. However, in honest, self-confident, high-EQ individuals, it is much easier to accept criticism because they are able to process their emotions, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and take note of something they need to improve on.

3. Do you increasingly feel stressed or anxious?

I’m not negating stress–we all experience some level of it; it is inevitable. But people with high EQ, as opposed to their low-EQ counterparts, have the capacity to get perspective on a situation, seek input from various angles, and practice mindfulness before spiraling down the devious path of anxiety. 

4. Are you a bad listener?

Low-EQ individuals lack empathy; they often neglect to listen to the opinions and thoughts of others to consider another point of view. Recent research published in Harvard Business Review supports evidence that leaders who listen well “are perceived as people leaders, generate more trust, instill higher job satisfaction, and increase their team’s creativity.”

5. Do you find it hard to recover from mistakes?

High-EQ individuals are resilient; low-EQ individuals dwell on mistakes and have a tough time bouncing back. To these people, I offer one simple solution that will change your world for the better: Heal from the hurt, learn from your mistake, let go of the past, and move on to your glorious future. 

In closing, building up your EQ could have a profound effect on your personal and work relationships. But first, assess where you stand in relation to the tenets of emotional intelligence and ask some key “hold up the mirror” questions to determine where you measure up. 


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